Two more great reasons to do the 3 Peaks 24 hour Challenge

In this blog entry, I wanted to share a little background into why we chose two more of the charities we completed the national 3 peaks challenge for.

Piam Brown Oncology Unit at Southampton Hospital.

As readers of my website will be aware I am an ecclesiastical leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in the south of the UK. One of my congregation is a little 3 year old girl who lives near Portsmouth. Just about a year ago she was diagnosed with Leukaemia and has been treated by the fantastic staff at Piam Brown in Southampton & also QA in Portsmouth. As a local church we have been involved in several projects to raise funds or provide a little bit of service by way of thanks back to Piam Brown for their help so far. One particularly gratifying act of service was to provide over 100 Easter baskets for the children and their families in Piam Brown over Easter. We were delighted to be able to assist them in this little bit of thoughtfulness and kindness that the staff there provide.
And so Piam Brown was a instant choice for us as one of our chosen charities.
And the little 3 year old is progressing well in her treatment.

Cancer Research UK

Aligned with our desire to support Piam Brown we also wanted to provide a little support to the national cancer charity, cancer research UK. Each member of the team knows of at least one individual who has suffered with cancer. A family member of a very close work colleague is at this moment battling with cancer and it is likely to win that fight. It is an ailment that afflicts so many and the advances in detection, treatment, prevention, cure and support cannot come soon enough.

So each of these charities has been chosen for a very personal reason, there is a story behind each one of them. It is part of what spurred us on to complete the challenge within the 24 hour time limit with just over 30 minutes to spare.

Please share these posts and also our links to help us raise a combined fundraising total of over £4000.

Many thanks

You can sponsor our team who completed the challenge online by visiting www.sponsor-me.org/3peaks2012
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Follow our progress, training and preparations on our Facebook page FB/3Peaks2012 or twitter @3Peaks2012

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23 hours 27 Minutes

We did it, a week ago today our little team set out to take on the national three peaks 24 hour Challenge. The challenge is to hike the highest mountain in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) within 24 hours. Our challenge began at 16:47 on Thursday 31st May when Steve our dedicated driver pushed us out of the car and onto the trail head by the Youth Hostel at the base of Ben Nevis.

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This meant that we would need to have scaled Nevis, driven down to the lake district, scaled Scafell Pike, got back into the car, driven to North Wales, scaled Snowdon and be back at the car before 16:47 on Friday 1st June.

We set off at high tempo and with clearing skies and lifting cloud made it to the top of Ben Nevis (sadly still shrouded in cloud and a bit of snow) at 19:16. We had enough time to snap a couple of photographs to prove we had made it before heading off back down the zig-zagging but well defined trail that led back to the youth hostel and the waiting car.

Around 2115 we had made it back, just shy of 4.5 hours since we started. Within 10 minutes we were on the road and leaving fort William and Scotland behind us as we headed into the night and towards the lake district.

Despite a close encounter with a herd of deer darting across the road just a few miles south of Fort William we arrived safely at a very eery Wastwater at 2.15am tired but refuelled and began kitting up, clean socks, warm clothing, head torches, water packs.

We set off from the Wasdale campsite and started immediately upwards along the river bed and up to what became for us the infamous Brown Tongue. A steep incline raising up between the forks in the river. It seemed to go on forever and how we missed the clearly defined path of the earlier walk on Nevis.
This was our most challenging aspect of the 24 hours, in the early hours of the morning, trudging up steep gradients hacking around for the path, in low visibility not just because of the dark but also as a result of the low mist and cloud.
We had hoped to be on the top of Scafell Pike by 4.30am but we had only made it beyond Hollow Stones and onto the ridge by that time. Through a concerted effort we made it to the top by 4.47am exactly 12 hours after we had begun our challenge.

Relived to be at the top and halfway through, we began our descent. Our plan had always been to walk out via Seathwaite which meant we were a little closer to the motorway for our journey south and also to have variety on the path. This route meant a scramble over Broad Crag and skirting along Ill Crag before heading north down to Seathwaite.

This route was definitely kinder on the knees but took us a little longer than we hoped for. With no mobile reception we were unable to let Steve know we were running late and arrived at the farmhouse at 7.35am an hour later than planned. Steve had left to find mobile reception to pick up any messages we had left. Within 20 minutes or so he was back at the hamlet and we were packed up and on the road again just after 8am. Two mountains completed with one left to do.

After a slightly circuitous route through north Wales we arrived at Pen Y Pass at 12.15pm. We knew that time was running a little tight as legs were feeling heavy and that we would need most of the 4.5 hours we had left to complete Snowdon.

Our chosen route up the mountain was via the Pyg track with return via the miners track. Leaving at 12.34pm we reached the top amid a large crowd of visitors who had just got off the train that had arrived a few minutes before we reached the summit. With only enough time to take a picture we headed straight back down, by this time legs were very tired and the descent was painful and slow but with 40 minutes to go we rounded the last bend and saw the car park and van parked up.

Ian and Scott decided to race it to the end and ran the last 100m at full sprint crossing the finish within our target time.

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Haiti – relief via a diversity of organisations.

A few days ago I posted the following tweet on my twitter account.

I posted this tweet to illustrate the efforts that the two main organisations I am involved with; namely my employer Ericsson and the Church I attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; are going to, to assist in the relief effort in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. 

It fills me with admiration for both these organisations that both are participating in some degree to help. Perhaps it is expected of a Church to be involved in relief efforts and I am glad the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints lives up to that expectation.  I am not sure if the same expectation exists for a multinational telecom vendor such as Ericsson.  However I am happy that such a company exceeds or even creates a different sort of expectation by providing relief services in the area it excells in. 

So I thought it would be worthwhile to post a few extra links to direct those who read this blog to the work that Ericsson and The LDS Church are doing alongside the many, many, many other organisations and relief agencies and volunteers that are working in Haiti and other places around the world.  There will be many unreported stories of selfless acts of service that take place as a result of this natural disaster, I think it is well worth publicising those that are reported.

Should you be looking for a way to donate funds to the relief effort it is possible by the first of the two links below. Members and visitors to the Church can also do so by the normal donation slips found in LDS buildings.  Fill out the Humanitarian Aid section on the slip.

http://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/humanitarian-services/

http://www.ericsson.com/ericsson/corporate_responsibility/ericssonresponse/index.shtml

Thoughts and prayers are with those in Haiti, both the Haitians effected and those working to provide relief.  Just this evening we learned how a survivor has been pulled from the rubble, 11 days after the quake, if there are more people alive in the rubble I pray they will be found and brought out alive.